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May 13, 2008

The Obama Paradox

A recent op-ed in the New York Times argues that should Barack Obama assume the presidency, he may want to avoid visiting the Middle East. Why? As the son of a Muslim father, Obama was technically born a Muslim, but because he became a Christian, he's an apostate. Therefore, in countries that strictly adhere to Muslim law (such as Iran and Saudi Arabia) it is illegal to punish, or even interfere with, his murder.

Barack Obama's parents

Obama's parents

Although Gelf has a hard time believing the author's inference that an Obama presidency would make the US even less well liked in the Muslim world, it's probably a good thing that Obama's mother was a Christian (albeit a non-practicing one) and not a Jew; if she were, her son might have ignited the fourth intifada. In Judaism, the mother's religion is passed on to the child. In Islam, the religion of the father is passed on to the child. So the theoretical child of a Jewish mother and Muslim father is theologically screwed.

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